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5 Foods That Can Decrease Stress & Why

Raise your hand if you've undergone some stress in the past couple of years? I bet if we're in a room, at least 90% of the hands would be up. And that's why I'm filming this video today to share with you five foods that can help to decrease stress and why.

And at the end, I have a couple of bonus herbs that I wanna share. And one of these was significant for me in helping my body to, I guess, adapt to the stresses of work. They're called adaptogens.

They help the body adapt to stressors. In 2016, I did a big move from California. Back in Minnesota, went through a big breakup, started the business, was finishing some functional schooling, and started working at a hospital to get some money to put into my business.

So it was a really crazy time. This herb really helped me that I'll share at the end and then just eat a real whole foods diet. I know people don't like the word whole anymore, whole foods.

I understand, that processed versus whole; is the topic for a different video, but you know what I mean, those real foods from the farmer's market. Then the five I'm gonna share today, just put a little extra emphasis on those.

So I'm Ashley, I'm a functional medicine dietitian. I'm the owner of Oswald Digestive Clinic, where we help people improve and eliminate bothersome gut issues like gas, bloat, diarrhea, constipation, and more using a functional medicine approach. So we accept insurance now.

Check us out if you'd like to schedule an initial appointment. Many of our clients get full coverage. So without further ado, let's dive and talk about these five foods.


The first food is fish. Fish can help to reduce cortisol, which is that stress hormone, and reduce subjective feelings of stress. So basically subjective how you feel the stress is impacting you. It can help to reduce that.

I'd recommend having fish two to three times a week, of low mercury fish. So three options would be skipjack tuna, wild-caught salmon, or rainbow trout. Or you could certainly supplement with quality fish oil as well.

Dark Leafy Green Vegetables

So food number two is dark leafy green veggies. These are rich in a nutrient called folate, which can help the body to produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which is that feel-good neurotransmitter, the same one that you can get from like sunshine and activity.

So dark leafy green veggies we're coming into the spring-summer. So fresh salads could be a really great option or you can just throw a handful into your smoothie every day or sauté them with some garlic, and olive oil and eat them that way.

Fermented food

Food number three is fermented foods. So fermented foods can help to maintain a healthy gut, which we know this gut-brain connection means a healthy brain that can reduce stress, but it also has GABA which can act as a neurotransmitter. You might have seen this in many of your supplements, basically helping to further reduce that stress.

I would recommend having about one tablespoon of fermented food at every meal and getting in a variety. So one day it could be a good quality yogurt or kimchi. I like to encourage people to steer towards fermented veggies.

You maybe know my favorite fermented veggie by now and it's the Bubbie's brand pickles are at many of the stores nowadays. Sauerkraut's another really popular fermented veggie.

Magnesium-rich Food

Food number four would be a group of foods that are magnesium-rich, which can help to make this GABA that I just talked about, work better and decrease cortisol stress in that way. And so foods in this category would be nuts, seeds, beans, spinach, broccoli, and there's a lot. Pumpkin seeds are really rich.

The soil quality matters as well as far as how much magnesium is in your food. So one reason buying your veggies from a farmer's market in season can really help to support your mental health and decrease stress as well.

Phosphatidylserine-rich Food

And the fifth food is another group of foods that are rich in phosphatidylserine, which the research shows can help to also decrease cortisol. And so these foods include egg yolks and meats like fish, beef, and chicken. And so just making sure to get enough protein every day can help support you in getting enough phosphatidylserine.

All right now, for the two bonus herbs that I wanna mention, the first one is the one I said helped me a lot.


And this is ashwagandha, it's known really well in India. It grows pretty wild. It's this adaptogen, that helps the body adapt to stress, and there are a lot of ways that you can take it. You can take it in the powdered form, just going to your local co-op or natural food store.

They might have it in the bulk section. This is how I took it at first. It tastes pretty awful. I'll be honest. So you might prefer to do it in a tincture or a capsule version.

I adapted to it. I mixed it with some at the time like almond milk. So that's an option. Now I'll do the tincture version. So I just did that last year for a while. Your taste might adapt to it at first, it tastes really awful to me, but I adapted. Lastly capsule. Capsule's another fair option.


And then the other one is chamomile. You maybe know about this one already. It's great for supporting sleep so it can help decrease stress in the way helping to improve your sleep quality.

And it can help to decrease anxiety and stress by itself as well. So you probably all have had it at some point, maybe not all of you, but chamomile tea is really popular. You can also do it in other forms of supplements.

You can buy Professional Quality Supplements at the link provided below.

So I hope this was helpful for you. Again, if you wanna become a client at our clinic, you can schedule an appointment with us. We also have a free guide, five ways to improve gut health and end food intolerances for good.

Thank you And I hope you have a great rest of your day.

If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.

Or you can just start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH

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